Welcome to Spooktober: How Hysterium brings frights to Fort Wayne

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – October has finally arrived, bringing tricks, treats, and frights to Fort Wayne.

On Fort Wayne’s southwest side, Hysterium Haunted Asylum got their spooky season started during their opening weekend in late September. Over the years the scare park has been received state and national recognition for being one of the best haunted venues.

How does Hysterium create one of the best scare parks every year?

Hysterium is open for a few weeks during the year, but planning is a year-long process. Brett Molitor, Hysterium’s owner, says his team meets in early November every year to debrief on the most popular and unpopular attractions throughout the park. In the following months, staff update certain areas of the park with new props and scare themes.

Molitor estimates between 15 to 30% of the park is updated every year.

“We try to find what the customers are looking for, or what we think is going to be scary for them, and then we give them the unexpected,” Molitor said. “When they think they know what’s going to happen, something else does, and that’s what they want.”

Having talented actors is just as important as a frightening environment. Molitor says Hysterium employs 25-35 actors every year, all of whom are trained on how to scare people safely. Molitor says the actors need to be creative enough to improvise for all types of people who come through the scare park.

“Every group is different,” Molitor said. “Groups tend to have a certain pattern where you’ll have somebody leading that’s not afraid, in the middle is usually the one who’s most scared, and the back end is someone trying to be brave.”

This year, Hysterium is introducing new fright scenes like an upside-down jail cell and other new exhibits. They are also bringing back timed tickets, a popular feature that was introduced last year for safety precautions and to reduce wait times.

Visit Hysterium’s website to find scaring hours and tickets.

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